- Dropping a legal cinderblock on his head: I’m quoted on CPSC’s aggressive legal action against former Buckyballs CEO Craig Zucker [Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS; NYT covers story; earlier here, etc.] Related, CPSC finally holds public hearing on magnet sets standard [WLF Legal Pulse].
- SCOTUS sleeper Bond v. U.S., on treaty power + toxic love triangle, no longer a sleeper as George Will devotes column to it [syndicated/WaPo, earlier]
- “The Ideological Migration of the Economics Laureates” [Daniel Klein et al, Econ Journal Watch via Tyler Cowen and Arnold Kling]
- Steven Teles’s diagnosis: “Kludgeocracy in America” [National Affairs; reactions from Brink Lindsey (“libertarianism serves as America’s superego while progressivism supplies the ego and id”), Ilya Somin, Nicholas Geiser/CEI “Open Market”]
- Farewell to Blawg Review’s “Ed.,” whose identity I never learned [Ron Coleman/Likelihood of Confusion, ABA Journal, Mark Bennett/Defending People; Overlawyered hosted Blawg Review #33 in 2005 and #220 in 2009; see also mentions and #56 at Point of Law]
- “Emotional linkbait”: police, press rush far ahead of evidence in many claims of bullying-induced suicide [Kelly McBride, Poynter]
- Wow: Columbia, S.C. interim police chief says he’ll come after advocates of pot law reform [Popehat]
Chilling effects of the surveillance state [Glyn Moody, ComputerWorld UK]:
Groklaw is shutting down, as a direct result of the revelations that the world’s communications – including our emails – are being spied upon by the NSA and GCHQ. That’s a huge loss for the open source world: Groklaw played an immensely important part in fighting off the absurd but dangerous SCO attack on free software. Alongside that main work it has conducted countless legal analyses of various other attempts to use patents and copyright to undermine open source. And it has done it applying the open source method of collaboration, a significant achievement in itself.
But the guiding force behind Groklaw, PJ, feels she can’t go on when something so fundamental as the privacy of her communications can no longer be taken for granted. In her final post, she compares the feeling to an earlier one when her flat was broken into, and someone went through all her belongings.
Not unrelated: “What Should, and Should Not, Be in NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation” [Electronic Frontier Foundation]
- Electric-car maker Tesla doesn’t get many kind words from free market types, but here’s one [Coyote] More: North Carolina auto dealer lobby strikes back [News & Observer]
- One lawyer’s selection of the worst lawyer billboards, though they’re far from the worst we’ve seen [John M. Phillips]
- House hearings on litigation abuse and on litigation and international competitiveness [Judiciary, more, Point of Law]
- Ninth Circuit cites conflict of interest, throws out credit reporting class settlement [Trial Insider; Daniel Fisher]
- Private pensions, market-based water rates and more: “Australian travel notes from a policy wonk” [Alex Tabarrok]
- “Use elevators properly. Riding outside of cars can be dangerous and deadly” [Scouting NY, seen in Bronx apartment building]
- “It’s long been my view that blawgs, law blogs, are the greatest peer reviewed content ever created.” [Greenfield]
- “The Cash Machine: How the Philly D.A. seizes millions in alleged crime money — whether there’s been a crime or not.” [Isaiah Thompson, Philadelphia City Paper via Alkon] Jacob Sullum on the Motel Caswell forfeiture case [syndicated, earlier]
- Online symposium on Brandon Garrett’s Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong [Co-Op]
- Victims of Detroit police raid on art gallery nightclub get some justice [Ferndale 115]
- John Baker on mens rea and “strict liability” crimes [Fed Soc, PDF]
- Radley Balko has moved his Agitator blog to Huffington Post. And (via @normative) Cato’s Police Misconduct project is tweeting at @NPMRP.
- Want to cross-examine someone on that traffic-camera ticket? Be prepared to pay travel costs for the camera company person [Scott Greenfield] “The mission creep of rape shield law” [same]
- “Does the Criminalization of Tort Inhibit Safety Investigation?” [Beth Haas, Faculty Lounge]
- Ninth Circuit dissent: ruling “jeopardizes academic freedom” by making it too easy for students to sue professors [WSJ Law Blog]
- When the bumptious and sociopathic go after our blogging friend, it’s Ken 1, b./s.-ers zero [Popehat]
- Uh-oh: “Election Results Seen as Victory for Business of Law” [Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer]
- In the mail: “How to Feed a Lawyer: And Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground” [Evan Schaeffer]
- “Cato Files Brief in the First Federal Appeal Regarding the Contraception Mandate” [Ilya Shapiro, earlier here, here, etc.]
- “Judicial independence” campaigners snooze through unfair attacks on D.C. Circuit [WSJ, earlier]
- “Anyone whose blood pressure needs a boost should check out Overlawyered…” [James DeLong, American Thinker]
…is the FTC’s and the nation’s gain, as President Obama nominates Josh Wright of Truth on the Market and George Mason University to a Republican seat on the Federal Trade Commission. Among our many links to his work: Posner and expert witnesses, Spanish professor sued by recording industry, e-book antitrust case, forum-shopping in Philadelphia, Chicago on law and econ, Google antitrust, executive debarment, cheap calories, behavioral law and econ, unisex insurance rates, Dodd-Frank, and many, many others. More reactions: Stephen Bainbridge, Ted Frank (“Best thing Obama’s ever done”).
“Legal commentator Walter Olson sounded the battle cry in his recent post: ‘Abolish the Law Reviews!,’ arguing that most exist so students can edit them, rather than to be read by lawyers and judges.” (more)
More reactions: Scott Pryor, Faculty Lounge; Kevin O’Keefe, Real Lawyers Have Blogs (“Blogs and social media to replace law reviews? Seems likely”); more, Deborah Hackerson, Legal Skills Prof Blog; “Something tells me this would not make Walter Olson reconsider his belief in irrelevance of law reviews.” [Jacob Laksin] Earlier here, here, here, etc. Related: Dave Hoffman on what would happen if we freed up 2 million law student hours a year [ConcurOp]; Ross Davies/Journal of Law, PDF, via Bainbridge on when legal scholarship helps judges. (& Mitchell Rubinstein, Adjunct Law Prof)
- Town of Gold Bar, Wash. (pop. 2,100) brought to brink of bankruptcy by multiple lawsuits following political feuds; “We are going broke winning lawsuits,” says mayor [Monroe Monitor via ABA Journal]
- “No one in Youngstown Ohio has a Swiss bank account…except maybe that big new Swiss employer in town?” [Matt Welch, earlier] William McGurn: FATCA and the IRS’s reach abroad [WSJ via TaxProf, earlier here, here] Politicians and lawyers demand “improvements” to IRS bounty-paid-informant program, but what if anything they improve may depend on your point of view [TaxProf, earlier]
- A human rights professor endorses a new model of residential facility that comes with names like “Freedom Place.” But what’s that on the door — could it be a lock to prevent escape? [Maggie McNeill] Romney spokesman says he’ll smite smut, Gov. Gary Johnson takes a more libertarian view [Daily Caller]
- New Mark Herrmann book on in-house lawyering [Victoria Pynchon, Scott Greenfield, Paul Karlsgodt]
- Mortgage eminent-domain seizure plan raises serious constitutional concerns [Andrew Grossman, earlier here, here]
- Central casting? Send over one “business basher,” please: Sidney Wolfe says $3 billion Glaxo settlement too lenient [CL&P, earlier]
- Ted Frank pre-vets the possibilities for Romney VP [PoL] Romney’s law and legal policy team [Brian Baxter, AmLaw Daily]
I’ve got a new essay up at The Atlantic, part of the “America the Fixable” series edited by Philip K. Howard. I have a bit of fun at the expense of the Harvard Law Review, raising the question of whether it should be held to lower standards than the Long Island tabloid Newsday, and cite such figures as Richard Posner, Elizabeth Warren, Ross Davies of George Mason, and the bloggers at Volokh Conspiracy and Balkinization.